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Book Review: It Started with Goodbye by Christina June

It Started with Goodbye
By Christina June
Sixteen-year-old Tatum Elsea is bracing for the worst summer of her life. After being falsely accused of a crime, she’s stuck under stepmother-imposed house arrest and her BFF’s gone ghost. Tatum fills her newfound free time with community service by day and working at her covert graphic design business at night, which includes trading emails with a cute cello-playing client. If Tatum is reading his emails right, her virtual Prince Charming is funny, smart, and talented—and he seems to think the same about her. Too bad he’s spending his summer across the ocean in Ireland…not that Tatum would be allowed to go on a date anyway.

But over the course of the summer, Tatum will learn that sometimes going after what you want means breaking all the rules. And when Tatum discovers she’s not the only one in the house keeping secrets, she finds she has the chance to make amends with her family and friends. Equipped with a new perspective, and assisted by her feisty step-abuela-slash-fairy-godmother, Tatum is ready to start fresh and maybe even get her happy ending along the way. A modern play on the Cinderella story arc, Christina June’s IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE will appeal to fans of Sarah Dessen, Stephanie Perkins, and Jennifer E. Smith.
My Thoughts:

If I had to pick one word to sum up It Started with Goodbye, it would have to be charming. Not only does this book fit this descriptor, but the word charming is doubly fitting because this is a retelling of Cinderella. Lost shoe? Check (kinda). Evil-ish stepmother? Check. Swoonworthy love interest? Check (he is seriously swoonworthy, guys). If you're looking for a cute, whimsical modern fairy tale, this book passes the test. (And that cover is my favorite--so gorgeous!)

Other things you can expect:

  • A focus on friendships. Honestly, the romance in It Started with Goodbye isn't as front-and-center as Tatum's friendships with other females. They grow throughout the book, and it's seriously really heartwarming to see her connect with other girls.
  • An interesting love interest. Sometimes YA love interests can be a bit cookie cutter. Not for this book! With a rich background and compelling personality, ISWG's love interest definitely wins here. The love interest also is diverse, which is really good to see.
  • Character development. Several characters change throughout the book, even if they're secondary characters. Tatum for sure changes the most, but it's interesting to see the change in the other characters as well.
  • An adorable plotline. It Started with Goodbye is an excellent read if you're looking for something light and fluffy to escape into, and it's an amazing Cinderella retelling to boot. I loved all the details that correlated with the famous fairytale, except with a modern spin. It's also clean, so I highly recommend it to preteens or teens of any age.
About the Author:

Christina June writes young adult contemporary fiction when she’s not writing college recommendation letters during her day job as a school counselor.  She loves the little moments in life that help someone discover who they’re meant to become – whether it’s her students or her characters.  Christina is a voracious reader, loves to travel, eats too many cupcakes, and hopes to one day be bicoastal – the east coast of the US and the east coast of Scotland.  She lives just outside Washington DC with her husband and daughter.  Her debut novel, IT STARTED WITH GOOD-BYE, will be published by Blink/HarperCollins in 2017.

It Started with Goodbye releases May 9, 2017. Preorder it now to get a bonus chapter!

Many thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book.

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